IN THE MIX – SIMONE BAUER

Released on May 14, 2019, “Oslated Mix Episode 153” by Simone Bauer is phenomenal. We analyse it in deep and use it as a pretext to introduce its author.

Contents
1. Context
2. Close-up on the mix
3. Interview on a selected topic
4. Tracklist
5. Links

NATURE’S RICHNESS

Simone Bauer, a notorious storyteller, not to be confused with Simone De Beauvoir, a notorious storyteller..… Wait, what? Nope, the comparison stops here. While both characters have their deep wisdom, Simone Bauer chose the musical path to express it through very subtle productions & mixes. The man is only twenty-four years of age, but an old Tibetan monk has apparently possessed his vessel: “Making music became a kind of meditation where there is no room for my thoughts and everything flows through myself and my instruments” he says, with an impressive discernment for his youth.

The origin of such wisdom could partly be found in his environment. For sure, our Italian maestro is connected to nature: living 100 km away from Roma, in a town surrounded by rivers, waterfalls and mountains, he knows what a silent landscape is and how to get inspired by it. However, appearances can be misleading: under the very peaceful trees lies a very alive microcosm. Such a complex world hidden under the foliage can be found in Bauer’s music: “Vedute d’insieme” for instance, released on Annulled with his talented mate Formant Value, contains a myriad of chewing insects under the serene leaf.

Lake Como (Photo by Burghard)

In line with Feral & Vâyu, Bauer’s connection to nature is also particularly obvious and sublime with La Quiete, released on Norite, as well as in his recent remix of Abyss Of The Nile by The Alchemical Theory, on Oslated. As you may know, the South Korean label has also a tremendous podcast and this is where we’ve selected Simone Bauer’s mix. Right after the – not so – peaceful intro, let’s get lost in his intriguing forestal world, introduced with certain mischief and delicacy.

A NATURE IN THE MICROSCOPE

1️⃣ The track selection

Starting with some Asian vibes is a nice wink to the Asian podcast. “Dreaming of You” is more Hongkongese than South Korean though, but it’s noticeable only when tagging the track and those who know Oslated’s label owner are aware of his special affection for Hong Kong. Harsh pads are invading the ambient piece at 1:25, but since the diplomatic disaster has been avoided, all is good.

The mix goes on with a series of tracks matching well with Oslated’s particular fairy atmospheres. As a storyteller, Simone Bauer applies brilliantly the narrative methods, by developing the mix like the pages of a book. Its immersive power can be sensed only if you scan all the pages; you’ll notice also how captivating the journey is, thanks to a smart variety of tracks and a nice build-up between them. In the end, Mike Parker’s spirals evoke nature’s angriness and while the last track from Acronym & Korridor seems full of hope, the very last sound remains dark and worrying…

2️⃣ The management of the energy

While Feral & Vâyu’s mixes are usually linear and contemplative, Simone Bauer chose the “mountain pattern”, consisting of increasing gradually the energy up to a climax and reducing it right after. The “mountain” is in fact more a “hill” here, the ascent being slow & subtle, but nevertheless efficient to catch the listeners’ attention throughout the whole journey. Not sure that such an approach is really conscious in Bauer’s mind, who mixes very instinctively, but it’s confirmed with the analysis of the harmonic keys, with the tone of each track globally rising. The climax is reached at around 50:34 with “Moto Lineare” by Manent, after having been introduced with a great boost from the previous track. The energy then slowly fades out until the intense last track, made to emerge from the journey.

3️⃣ The technique of mixing

The producers of this level being usually precise, Simone Bauer knows well how to position the tracks: the placement is on point everywhere, with “fades in & out” long enough to maintain the immersion. The following example shows how important it is: right after the ambient intro, Bauer brought a track whose tone doesn’t really match, but with his long “fade in” and the use of a minimalist part of the beat, he slightly avoided the clash of melodies. The track boosted the energy and the train left the station.

A detail: Bauer has a tendency to overuse the bass line cutting technique in most of his mixes, with an uncomfortable feeling that can also be found in this mix at 14:48. Not everybody will see it as negligence, but it does damage a bit the immersion when too long, like a train whistling sort of. It can of course be attributed to the warming up, since a long road of very fluent transitions followed until the end.

INTERVIEW ON A SELECTED TOPIC

We noticed that love is very present around this man, so we made it our main subject.

How does your love for nature inspire your music?

It has a fundamental role in my productions, something that I realised only recently. Terni, my hometown, is called “Il cuore verde dell’Italia”, meaning “The green heart of Italy”. The area is full of woods, hills, mountains, rivers and waterfalls like you said, so it’s very easy to get lost in the grandeur of the scenery, forget what the urban society tries to build on you and find who you really are thanks to this pure – unambiguous – connection to Nature.

During my studies, I was often chilling out with my friends in the woods or by the river. Having this regular contemplation of Nature initiated a process inside of me, giving me another “consciousness”, as well as some new intuitions: I started for instance to see some coincidences as signals to guide me through my choices and I built a certain inner peace out of that.

At that time, I was studying philosophy, a domain known to generate a lot of questions. I found most answers in Nature and in the capacity to listen to the silence. Its power makes me realise how much the modern man is disconnected from Nature, and for this reason, we feel lost, pursuing progress without a real goal. The inner and the outer space aren’t just connected, they are the same thing, they are two ways to achieve the same goal: being ourselves, being who we truly are without the influences of this role game that we call society.

It’s with this state of mind that I compose music and hopefully, people can feel it through the resonance of my sound. Loving Nature is to love ourselves and loving ourselves is to love Nature, everything is connected.

Talking about “connections”, could you go through your various music collaborations and comment on the ones that first come to your mind and that you particularly love?

I’ve to start with the Belgian label Norite, which put trust in my music and gave me the chance to start my musical career. I’ve been enjoying also my recent collaboration with NFEREE, where I’m a remixer in Knay’s last EP. Oslated from South Korea has also a very special place in my heart for its authentic feel & vision, and as it was the first label I did a remix for. The US label Sure Thing is probably the one which left the biggest imprint on me, as with Aaron Jen, at the head of it, I released my very first vinyl “Arcadia“, with a remix from Refracted.

Regarding my collaboration with artists, my most special one is of course with my mate Formant Value. We originally met in the art school in my hometown and after some time, he became one of my best friends. We started to make music together. The first note I wrote in a DAW was with him; we influenced each other and grew together. We see the world in the same way and music is just an expression of this understanding between us. “Vedute d’insieme“ in particular is the outcome of a nice summer spent together making music and going meditating by the river. The album is an oscillation between sound and silence. Formant Value is one of my favourite artists and I’m sure that you will see big things coming from him in the future.

Could you tell us more about your collaboration with Oslated and about your creative process behind the mix of this review?

At the head of Oslated is Oslon, a very kind guy that I really hope to meet in person one day. We started collaborating together with that mix: the idea behind was to build an oriental journey, evolving into deep and pulsating techno. I’m very satisfied with the result, but I’m still developing my mixing technique and your review about it helps me a lot to understand what I can do better.

After this podcast, I’ve been honoured to be chosen by Oslon to make my very first remix, for the beautiful release “Egyptian Secrets” by the Italian trio “The Alchemical Theory”. They are very talented and I enjoyed a lot this project. I hope to work again with Oslated in the future. I think it’s one of the most interesting platforms in the underground scene right now, regarding also the whole community that is developing around it.

It’s impossible to bring up the topic of love and not ask you as a last question if you are currently in love and if it inspires your music…

Yes, at the moment I’m living with my girlfriend. She’s a DJ, sharing the same passion as me, which is particularly stimulating. She inspires me a lot every day. We are planning to move to another city: I’d like to study electronic music, which is not possible here in Terni. 

To be honest, I’m living a transitional period at the moment and a lot of things that were certain for me are slowly fading away. Sometimes I’m worrying about the future, even if I know that I can’t control or understand the processes that involve all of us. I guess the only thing to do is to relax and let things flow. My girlfriend helps me to achieve this condition.

TRACKLIST

(Please buy the tracks to support the underground scene with us)

1. KWC 92 – Dreaming Of You [L.I.E.S. Records]
2. Dorisburg & Efraim Kent – Tecken III [Tikita]
3. Skymn – Okuyi (Interpreted by Korridor) [Hypnus Records]
4. Ben Buitendijk – Stardust [Oblique Music]
5. 9beats – Crossing The Atmosphere [Warok Music]
6. Vâyu – Ludian [Norite]
7. Nima Khak – Reportage Sur Moto [Parabel]
8. Karl Bult – System [Pole Recordings]
9. Refracted – Dom [Black Codes Experiments]
10. A. Brehme – Majime [Edit Select Records]
11. Sciahri – Ira [Sublunar]
12. Manent – Moto Lineare [Aura Dinamica]
13. Mike Parker – Currents [Tsunami Records]
14. Neel – Fumana [Substrato]
15. Acronym w Korridor – Untitled 02 [VAAGNER]

SIMONE BAUER: Facebook, Soundcloud, Discogs, RA
OSLATED: Facebook, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Instagram, Discogs, RA

WRITING BY: CEDRIC FINKBEINER | 21 JUNE 2020

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